Miguel Almiron scored his ninth goal of the season in Newcastle United’s resounding 3-0 win over a bleak-looking Leicester City side at King Power Stadium to propel the Magpies to second in the table.
Despite having played twice more, the win for Eddie Howe’s side takes them above Manchester City into second, and four points behind leaders Arsenal.
Chris Wood and Joelinton were also on the scoresheet alongside standout man Almiron, as the Toon Army enjoyed an electric restart to the Premier League season.
Daniel Amartey clumsily brought down Joelinton in the box inside 60 seconds as the midfielder drove toward goal. With Callum Wilson absent from the squad, Wood gladly stepped up to smash the ball down the middle of Danny Ward’s goal to hand Newcastle an early advantage.
Almiron picked up where he left off before the World Cup break when he doubled the Magpies’ lead with a cheeky finish beyond Ward after a brilliantly worked move.
Kieran Tripper received a cross-field pass from Bruno Guimaraes and sent a looping pass down Newcastle’s right side for Almiton to run onto. The Paraguayan chased the ball down and cut inside where he picked out Guimaraes in the middle, who had made a gut-busting run to join the attack, before returning the pass to complete a quick one-two as he split the Leicester defence open for Almiron to run through and poke the ball beyond Ward.
As the game passed the half-hour mark, Joelinton rose highest from a Trippier corner to power home a third as Newcastle put the game out of Leicester’s reach before the half-time break.
Brighton were also rampant in their game against struggling Southampton and were two goals to the good before the break thanks to a glanced Adam Lallana header and a Romain Perraud own goal.
Solly March added a third minutes before the hour-mark with an exquisite left-footed strike from 30 yards out, that whistled past Gavin Bazunu before nestling into the top-left corner.
James Ward-Prowse grabbed a consolation goal with a little over 16 minutes of normal time remaining, as he followed up a rare missed penalty with a header into an empty net.
The result saw Brighton move up to sixth with Southampton dropping to the foot of the table, one point adrift of 18th-placed Wolves and two points behind 19th-placed Everton, who faced off at Goodison Park.
And it looked as if the points were going to be shared until a last-gasp winner from Rayan Ait Nouri earned Wolves a special three points to move within a point of safety in Julen Lopetegui’s first game in charge.
Yerry Mina had given Everton an early lead with a header from a perfectly-delivered Dwight McNeil corner, before Daniel Podence cancelled out the opener in the 22nd minute with a sneaky finish at the back post.
However, it was Nouri’s thunderous close-range finish five minutes into added time that stole all three points for Wolves.
There was more drama at Selhurst Park as Fulham made the most of a depleted Crystal Palace side, who had two players sent off.
Fulham led through Bobby Ried on the half-hour mark and were given a boost when Tyrick Mitchell was sent off four minutes later for a late challenge on Kenny Tete.
James Tomkins was given a second yellow card in the 57th minute, and that’s where Fulham really took the game by the scruff of the neck. Tim Ream added a second before an inevitable Aleksandar Mitrovic header sealed all three points.
Tottenham were in action at Brentford earlier in the day and came back from two goals down to salvage a point, with Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on the scoresheet for the visitors.
Liverpool travel to Aston Villa later in the afternoon, and league leaders Arsenal host West Ham United in the evening.